“It wasn’t pretty” described just about every aspect of the game between the Santa Barbara Foresters and the Menlo Park Legends on Saturday as inclement weather combined with sloppy play resulted in a game that lasted over three hours. The Sters battled for as long as they could, but couldn’t overcome the nine runs that the Legends put up on nine walks and six hits allowed by Foresters pitchers.
The Legends allowed free base runners as well with three errors on the day. One of which lead to the Sters getting on the board in the first inning when an errant pickoff attempt by starting pitcher Cameron Linck allowed Foresters shortstop Matt Henderson to reach third base after he previously singled. Granger Studdard promptly grounded a single to the right side to score the first run of the day.
The day continued to look promising for the Foresters as they struck for 3 more runs in the second inning. The inning got started with a Trevor Abrams doubled that landed just near the right field line. Connor McManigal then singled to score Abrams. Michael Smith kept the train rolling with an infield single, and a throwing error by the Legends shortstop scored McManigal and allowed Smith to reach third base. A sacrifice fly by John Holland later scored Smith and the Foresters were sitting pretty with a 4-0 lead and All Star Glen Otto on the mound.
However, Otto did not have his best command and struggled to find the strike zone in the third inning. Six straight Legends batters reached in the inning before Otto could record even record an out. Willy Amador came on in relief of Otto and and struggled as well. A bases clearing triple by Kyle Barret was big blow in the inning that helped the legends ultimately put up a 7-spot in the inning. The Legends struck for one more run in the fourth to give them an 8-4 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Foresters showed signs of life as Matt Henderson reached base on an infield single and Granger Studdard hit a towering home run over the right field fence to bring the Foresters within two runs. However, six runs wouldn’t be enough for the Foresters on the gloomy day in Santa Barbara.
Cal Becker pitched 3 1/3 effective innings in relief for the Foresters and allowed the team a chance to get back into the ballgame. He allowed no runs and 1 hit and a walk over the 3+ frames. David Greer, who started the game at third base came on to pitch the ninth inning and struck out two on his way to a 1-2-3 inning.
The Foresters look for better results and better weather on Sunday as they take on the Legends in the final game of the series. The game will start at 1:00 PM at Cesar Uyesaka Stadium.